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Parents Call Pilot Textbook Political Propaganda For Gavin Newsom

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Controversy is brewing among parents over new curriculum in Elk Grove Unified School District. The textbook in question explains the history of gay rights to first graders. Some parents are accusing the book of sounding like a campaign advertisement for Gavin Newsom.

"The book says that Gavin Newsom is a 'champion of the people,'" said Greg Burt, Director of Capitol Engagement with the California Family Council. "And that is an opinion that is being taught to 1st graders as though it's fact."

The book, still in the pilot stage, is called "My World Interactive" from publishers Pearson, Scott Foresman and Prentice Hall. Burt first flipped through the book on Monday and he was stunned by a passage featuring Gavin Newsom.

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It features a picture of Newsom, a gubernatorial candidate and former San Francisco mayor, and calls him a "champion for people's rights."

"Gavin said that people could marry who they choose," the book reads. "Sometimes, Gavin helped marry people. Some marriages were not between a man and a woman. He made sure that people's rights were respected."

"It's way over the top!" Burt said. "This looks like it was written by his campaign staff!"

CBS13 took it to Elk Grove Parents and it took them some time to digest.

"Honestly, I don't know how I feel about that," said T. Williams, a mom of three.

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Elk Grove Unified School District is one of several in the state testing out new history and social science textbooks for grades K through 8. In a letter sent to parents last week, the district wrote the following:

"The newly amended curriculum aims to accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society and includes new references and historical information that portrays the significant contributions to our history by Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans, Persons with Disabilities and Members of other Ethnic and Cultural Groups."

It follows the Fair Education Act that took effect in 2012. But Williams said this passage is a little too pro-Gavin.

"It's like he's promoting himself and I don't really think that's what first-grade learning is about," she told CBS13.

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But father of two Michael Hoss said, for the most part, it's factual.

"It's fine with me," he said. "It's history right? And if he was a champion for people's rights, great!"

Burt just wants the district to reconsider which grades they expose to certain topics.

"I want parents to be aware this is coming and I want them to go down and look at the curriculum for themselves," he said.

Parents still have more time to review the textbooks. The next preview day is October 11. According to the district, the pilot will end in December and they'll likely select a publisher in January.

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